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Tips for Managing Stress and Change at Work: Stress Management Tips


Black male under stress
Colin Hawkins/ Stone/ Getty Images

Are you experiencing stress at work? Want to learn more about what causes stress and the impact of stress on people at work? In an earlier article, Understanding Stress and Workplace Stress, the concept of stress and its impact in your workplace is explored.

These five major suggestions will help you manage the stress you experience at work. Effective stress management is not easy and stress management takes time and practice. Developing stress management skills is important for your overall health and well-being, however.

These five stress management tips are in no particular order. They do not take in the universe of stress management, but these stress management tips encompass several of the main stress management challenges you experience at work. Think about your own situation and your own tendencies in stressful situations to select your best stress management strategies from the list.

Control time allocation and goals. Set realistic goals and time frames for yourself. Remember the Alice in Wonderland Syndrome from the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Alice is walking in a woods. She comes to a fork in the road. Not knowing which way to go, she asks the Cheshire Cat:

Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
That depends a good deal on where you want to get to, said the cat.
I don’t much care where, said Alice.
Then it doesn’t matter, said the cat.
--so long as I get somewhere, Alice added as an explanation.
Oh, you're sure to do that, said the Cat, if you only walk long enough.

Do you feel this way some days? Setting realistic goals for your day and year helps you feel directed and in control. Goals give you a yardstick against which you can measure every time commitment. And, walking long enough is a stress producer, not a stress management tool.

Scheduling more than you can handle is a great stressor. Not only are you stressed trying to handle your commitments, you are stressed just thinking about them. If you are experiencing overload with some activities, learn to say, “no.” Eliminate any activities which you don’t have to do. Carefully consider any time-based commitment you make.

Use an electronic planner to schedule each goal and activity you commit to accomplish, not just your appointments. If that report will take two hours to write, schedule the two hours just as you would a meeting. If reading and responding to email takes an hour per day, schedule the hour.

Reconsider all meetings. Why hold meetings in the first place? An effective meeting serves an essential purpose - it is an opportunity to share information and/ or to solve a critical problem. Meetings should only happen when interaction is required. Meetings can work to your advantage, or they can weaken your effectiveness at work. If much of your time is spent attending ineffective, time-wasting meetings, you are limiting your ability to accomplish important objectives at work.

The Wall Street Journal, quoted a study that estimated American managers could save 80 percent of the time they currently waste in meetings if they did two things: start and end meetings on time and follow an agenda.

Interested in more information about Stress Management?

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